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If I would sell my horse, and buy twenty more
1 The commentators have made difficulties about this passage, which appears to me quite plain and intelligible without a comment. 'If I give my horse to Timon it immediately foals, i. e. produces me several able horses. We have, as Malone observes, the same sentiment, differently expressed, before :
no méed but he repays Sevenfold above itself; no gift to him Bat breeds the giver a return exceeding
All use of quittance.' > Sternness was the characteristic of a porter. There appeared at Kenilworth Castle (1575] ' a porter tall of parson, big of lim, and stearn of countinauns.' And in Decker's play of A Knight's Conjuring, &c. “You mistake, if you imagine that Plutoe's porter is like one of those big fellowes that stand like gyants at lordes gates, &c.--Yet hee's surly as those key-turners are. The word one, in the second line, does not refer to porter, but means a person. He has no stern forbidding porter at his gate to keep people out, but a person who smiles and invites them in.'
3 Johnson altered this to ' found his state in safety.' But the reading of the folio is evidently sound, which I think will bear explanation thus : No reason can proclaim his state in safety, or not dangerous. So in King Henry VIII. Act v. Sc.2:
Pray heaven he sound not my disgrace ! Again in Julius Cæsar, Act i. Sc. 2 :
• Why should that name be sounded more than yours ?' 4 Be not stayed or stopped:Why should Tiberius' liberty be ceased?
Claudius Tiberius Nero, 1607.
With slight denial ; nor then silenc'd, when-
reliances on his fracted dates
feather sticks in his own wing,
Caph. I go, sir.
r?—take the bonds along with you, And have the dates in compt. Caph.
I will, sir. Sen.
[Exeunt. 5 This passage has been thus explained by Roger Wilbraham, Esq. in his Glossary of words used in Cheshire :- Gull, s. a naked gull; so are called all nestling birds in quite an unfledged state. They have a yellowish cast; and the word is, I believe, derived from the A. S. geole, or the Sui. Got. gul, yellow, Somn. and Ihre. The commentators, not aware of the meaning of the term naked gull, blunder in their attempts to explain those words in Tinnon of Athens.'--Archæologia, vol. xix. Mr. Boswell observes that in the Blacke Booke, 1604, sig. C.3. a young heir is termed a gull-finch; and that it is probably used with the same meaning in When You See Me You Know Me, by Sam. Rowley, 1633, sig. E. 2. verso, ' The angels has flown about to night, and two gulls are light into my hands.'
6 Which for who. The pronoun relative applied to things is frequently used for the pronoun relative applied to persons by old writers, and does not seem to have been thought a grammatical
It is still preserved in the Lord's prayer.
Enter Flavius, with many Bills in his hand.
Flav. No care, no stop! so senseless of expense, That he will neither know how to maintain it, Nor cease his flow of riot: Takes no account How things go from him; nor resumes no care Of what is to continue; Never mind Was to be so unwise, to be so kind". What shall be done? He will not hear, till feel : I must be round with him now he comes from hunting. Fye, fye, fye, fye! Enter CAPhis, and the Servants of ISIDORE and
Good even?, Varro: What, You come for money? Var. Serv.
Is't not your business too? Caph. It is;- And yours too, Isidore ? Isid. Serv. Caph. 'Would we were all discharg'd ! Var. Serv.
I fear it. Caph. Here comes the lord. Enter TIMON, ALCIBIADES, and Lords, &c.
Tim. So soon as dinner's done, we'll forth again, My Alcibiades. With me? What's your
will ? 1 This is elliptically expressed :
Never mind Was [made] to be unwise [in order] to be so kind.' Conversation, as Johnson observes, affords many examples of similar lax expression.
? Good even, or good den, was the usual salutation from noon, the moment that good morrow became improper. See Romeo and Juliet, Act ii. Sc. 4. * i e. to hunting; in our author's time it was the custom to
It is so.
Caph. My lord, here is a note of certain dues.
Of Athens, here, my lord. Tim. Go to my steward.
Caph. Please it your lordship, he hath put me off
Mine honest friend,
Contain thyself, good friend. Var. Serv. One Varro's servant, my good lord,Isid. Serv.
From Isidore; He humbly prays your speedy payment,Caph. If you did know, my lord, my master's
wants, Var. Serv. 'Twas due on forfeiture, my lord, six
Isid. Serv. Your steward puts me off, my lord; And I am sent expressly to your lordship.
Tim. Give me breath,-
[Exeunt ALCIBIADES and Lords. I'll wait upon you instantly. Come hither, pray you;
[To FLAVIUS. How goes the world, that I am thus encounter'd
hunt as well after dinner as before. Thus in Tancred and Gismunda, 1592, 'He means this evening in the park to bunt.' Queen Elizabeth, during her stay at Kenilworth Castle, she always hunted in the afternoon.
4 i. e. that you will behave on this occasion in a manner con-, sistent with your other noble qualities.
With clamorous demands of date-broke bonds",
honour ? Flav.
Please you, gentlemen,
Do so, my friends: See them well entertain'd.
[Erit Timon. Flav.
I pray, draw near.
[Exit Flavius. Enter APEMANTUS and a Fool 6. Caph. Stay, stay, here comes the fool with Apemantus; let's have some sport with ’em.
Var. Serv. Hang him, he'll abuse us.
[To the Fool: Isid. Serv. (To VAR. Serv.] There's the fool hangs on your back already.
Apem. No, thou stand’st single, thou art not on
• The old copy reads :
of debt, broken bonds.' The emendation, which was made by Malone, is well supported by corresponding passages in the poet. Thus at p. 32, ante :
• And my reliances on his fracted dates.' 6 Johnson thought that a scene or passage had been here lost, in which the audience were informed that the fool and the page that follows him belonged to Phrynia, Timandra, or some other courtesan; upon the knowledge of which depends the greater part of the ensuing jocularity.